What a Wonderful World It Would Be

After an evening spent shopping in West Allis, I am more certain than ever that everyone, everywhere would have a simpler, less stressful life if they would just do what I know is best for them.

Here are the Top Five Dumbest-Shit Things That I Observed on my shopping trip this evening:
5. A 30-yr-old man and his mother, utterly befuddled by the inseam measurements on pants, and what those numbers *really* mean…
4. A 14-yr-old boy wearing a Jameson t-shirt (shopping with his dad). Yeah, kiddo, I’m sure you really enjoy the Irish whiskey…
3. A man legitimately trying to decide between a Zune and an iPod. Seriously? Have you read *one* product review in the last five years?
2. A young woman browsing at DVDs and LOUDLY talking on her cell phone about the physical incompatibility between herself and her last sex partner. Some things are just better left to the imagination, sweetie.
1. A young woman asking a sales associate at Target if they sell doorknobs. I can see the Menards across the street from the parking lot…

‘Nuff said, on all fronts. The Crew is in trouble again in the 7th. But against Pittsburgh. I’ll be damned an’ shit.

Recycling

It’s Friday and I’m a little hung over. Low on content-ideas, as well as motivation. That being said, please follow the clicky for some good, clean, LOLTrek.

And while we’re re-hashing tired old web-gags, why not get on the way to destruction? After all, you have no chance to survive make your time.

… I also just had a realization that Internet is old enough that if you said to a kid (i.e., teenager), even one that is quite well-versed on the Tubes, “How are you Gentlemen?” you would likely be met with a blank stare.

Race Issues

I considered it carefully, and finally decided that I would post this thought from yesterday.

If you’ve ever lived in or near Milwaukee, you probably know that the city is extremely (and mysteriously, from an outsider’s perspective) divided along racial lines, manifested most directly through geography. The physical separation of blacks and whites (there are others, but let’s focus on the Big Two) makes the intermingling of the races a tenuous affair at best.

I think the most common response of white people in Milwaukee is to pretend there’s not actually a problem, and that the racial/social/economic divisions are some sort of mysterious coincidence. Most white people, I think, like to believe that they received license to stop worrying about race somewhere around 1970 (at least way up north here in Wisconsin, by God).

My speculation, based on interactions and observations I’ve had, is that most black people are going to be guarded, and cautiously suspicious in interactions with whites, which is completely understandable in a city whose casual racism simmers just below the surface.

Ultimately, what you end up with are interactions that are cordial in appearance, but where one or both parties has a proverbial finger on the trigger, just waiting for the slightest reason to write the other off as the personification of a racial stereotype.

I don’t think of myself as a racist. However, I do know that my hyper-awareness of the existence of the race problem in this city probably affects the way that I am in interracial encounters. I don’t know how to resolve this, other than to give it time.

One thing that’s definitely not going to help is events such as what transpired at work today. I’m sure that it’s not appropriate for me to say much about it, but the short version is, a student who I legitimately could not remember working with claims that I promised something I could not/would not have promised, gave me a total of four hours to look into it, then went to folks much further up the chain to accuse me of discrimination.

I think that this situation escalating so far so fast has a lot more to do with the climate in Milwaukee than with me personally. I really believe that if my skin and the student’s were the same color, these accusations would not have been made.

I’m trying my best, but this is just another one of those things that makes me wish I wasn’t here. I don’t have the solution to 150 years of history in my pocket. If I did, I’d be doing something else.

Lacking overwhelming praise or accolades, I prefer anonymity, and for that, I’m probably in the wrong job. I know that sounds naive or selfish. But, this is what I’ve been thinking about today.

(Relatively) Clean

Work is madhouse, and will continue to be such throughout the month of September.

However, I have somehow gotten caught up on a number of things that were lagging over the last couple weeks around the office. This has made me feel better about being here in general. I am still weary from the endless droves of people who don’t have enough money for school and are not considered “needy enough” to get it from the government, making my options for helping them close to nill.

Things at home are a lot cleaner, too, as Christy and/or Michelle could attest to. I have one room left that still needs significant organization, but for the most part, I am “settled in.” This new-found comfort is a double-edged sword, since I am nearly certain I’ll be moving again in 10 months.

OK, more to do. Look at this in the meantime, and think about what you’ve done.

Holy Synthetic Balls

Schrubbe and I are the only ones that I know of who are legitimately concerned about the robot problem and AI, but this story kind of points to the rapid-growth potential for scientific advancement in this area.

Artificial Life Likely in 3 to 10 Years

Humankind is going to continue pushing the envelope of science for good or ill for as long as we’re around. We just have to hope and pray that the ethics and philosophy that surround these unimaginable developments keep pace.